Vivitek Qumi Q7 LED Projector – Review
QUMI Q7 LED PROJECTOR SPECIAL FEATURES PAGE 2: MHL, Wifi USB Dongle, Zoom Lens, Redmere HDMI cable compatible
Connecting with the outside world is easy for the Qumi Q7! That’s especially true if you have the Q7’s optional Wifi Dongle.
The Wifi dongle plugs into the Q7’s USB port. Unfortunately, Vivitek did not send me one for evaluation.
Qumi Q7 Projector - MHL
For those not familiar with MHL yet, it’s a mobile protocol for HDMI. There are many MHL devices on the market, and more on the way. One of the best known would be Roku’s MHL stick. I have one, and with it as far as home use goes, it sort of gives the home entertainment user the ability to cut the cord – no more satellite or cable box, no need for Blu-ray disc. With my Roku MHL, I can download or stream from Netflix and a whole lot of other services. If I want to watch House of Cards, no problem. March Madness basketball? I haven’t looked for it yet, but I believe so.
I can catch up on the news, or from informational sites on the internet. That’s just some of what I can get off of Roku, and there are plenty of other MHL devices and features out there.
As someone pointed out recently, MHL has a great deal of appeal to younger folks, who don’t want to be tethered to, or pay big monthly fees for cable. While I’m a Blu-ray first, and always want the best picture, MHL, can’t necessarily please me all the time, but I do find it a useful option. In fact I dragged the Qumi Q7 with me on vacation and did exactly that – watched programming on about a 70″ projected image in our timeshare. I had to get the Roku to talk to the room’s wifi, but once accomplished, content poured forth.
Qumi Q7 Wifi USB Dongle (Optional)
Sadly, Vivitek did not ship me the optional Wifi solution for the Q7. Of course my Roku stick works in much the same way, talking to my local Wifi network, but I can only get off or Roku, what they provide. That doesn’t happen to include general browsing the web.
Essentially Vivitek offers a very small dongle. It plug into the USB port in the back of the projector, and you configure it to your local wifi the same way you would configure any other wifi device.
That’s about all it takes to give you communication with the world. OK, what if you aren’t where there’s accessible Wifi? Do you have to find the nearest Starbucks? It’s easier than that, at least for most people with smartphones, or at the very minimum people with iPhones (I’ve never owned an android phone). With my iPhone, I can turn my phone into my own, secure Wifi hotspot (once set up), in about 2 seconds).
In other words, I can walk into an office to present to a client with the Qumi Q7, and not have to worry about gaining access to their network. I’d turn on my hotspot, and the Qumi, with the Wifi USB dongle installed, and be ready to search the web, log into my corporate server remotely, and in general, do whatever I need to. In the home entertainment world, same idea. Had the timeshare I visited not had wifi in the room, or if I was paranoid and wanted secure wifi, bingo – out comes the iPhone, and I’m in business.
Because there wasn’t one of these dongles included, what I can’t tell you, is if you can setup and run, at the same time, both a MHL device (like Roku) and the Wifi via USB. In theory, there’s no reason both couldn’t be configured, but it’s only an educated guess at this point. The local wifi should see the Roku, and the Wifi dongle as simply two different Wifi devices.
Qumi Q7 Zoom Lens
I list the zoom lens as a “special feature” because a significant number of pocket and even large pocket projectors don’t offer a zoom lens, instead, typically they offer digital zoom. They are not the same thing.
The zoom lens of the Qumi Q7 has a very modest 1.1:1 zoom range. That means only a small amount of front to back placement flexibility when setting it up. If trying to exactly fill a screen at a customer’s location, or even in your home, having 6 inches of range for about a 50 inch screen, is better than no flexibility at all.
Compatible with Redmere type HDMI cables
Redmere is a cable OEM, that provides HDMI cable tech to many companies (including some Monster cables). They are ultra thin – about the thickness of your earbud cables, and ultra-light weight. A 10 foot HDMI cable is lighter than most 18 inch regular HDMI cables, and a 10 foot cable would almost fit into a cigarette pack!
The thing is, Redmere cables are smart cables, they are “powered”. And to do so, they draw power at both ends, from the source, and from the display side. Most pico and pocket projectors we’ve reviewed would not allow power to be pulled from them, so they won’t work with this type of cable. I took the Q7 with me on vacation in March, left the provided HDMI cable at home, and took my 10 foot “Redmere” HDMI cable. Worked perfectly. Every road warrior needing to connect HDMI sources to the Qumi Q7 should have one of these cables. Congrats to Vivitek for making the Q7 “Redmere” compatible! Good move.
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